20120507

France refuses to change

Well. Now that Nicolas Sarkozy is out of the picture, will the actual political debate start? You know, the kind with real bits of genuine ideas, ideology-free?

Let's face it: we'll have to wait some more, and probably far beyond the upcoming legislative elections. Which shall be, like the presidential elections, handed on a plate by the incumbent to the opposition because in his political suicide, Sarkozy erected an inextricable triangle between amoral populists (UMP leader Jean-Francois Cope, a Sarko mini-me), moderate reformers (former PMs Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe), and the extreme right (Marine Le Pen's Front National).

By "political suicide", I'm not refering to Sarkozy's shameless courting of Le Pen's voters, but to the very fact that this Hyper-Hype President decided to seek a second mandate, ultimate proof that the man totally lacks historical vision and distance with himself. As I forecast the very evening of his election in 2007*, Sarkozy had been awarded a very clear mandate to reform, but would risk everything should he ever try to betray the Republic by undermining its pilars (particularly secularism, and the balance of powers - executive, legislative, judiciary, media...).

The "surprise" lies in the narrowness of the score** which, combined to a massive total of blank votes, confirmed that the republican sanction against Nicolas Sarkozy was not at all coupled with a massive adhesion to Francois Hollande or to his program. In spite of the record unpopularity of his opponent, Hollande barely fulfilled the only promise he could keep: to replace Sarkozy. Should he fail to win a large legislative majority in spite of the above mentioned 'political triangles', "Flanby" would fully deserve his nickname: a brand of sweet, soft, boneless pudding, promoted to the top job simply because it happened to be there when DSK and Sarkozy committed suicide.

Anyway, by opting for a run off between two promises of denial and 'fuite en avant', the French had already decided two weeks ago to procrastinate, to refuse the debate, to refuse change. Alternation without the courage of reforming, that's cowardness, that's the non-choice, not casting a blank vote. Full disclosure: I voted for change and reforms within the Republic in the first round (Francois Bayrou), and for change and reforms within the Republic in the second round (blank vote = blank page for the future winner, who will end up facing reality and rewriting his program / BTW just like she doesn't own France, Marine Le Pen doesn't own the blank vote).

Beyond France, both leading parties are also condemned to reform themselves, and the earlier the better. Nicolas Sarkozy managed to destroy the UMP the very same way George W. Bush did with the Republican Party***, and even if they manage to get rid of 'mini-me' Cope, center-right moderates probably won't have time to sort things out before the legislative elections. Even if its 'champion' won, the French Socialist Party remains an embarrassing anachronism refusing to evolve towards a modern socio-democracy, refusing to purge itself ideologically, refusing to accept that the 'French model' must adapt to survive, refusing to consider 'solutions' that are not demagogic and not ideologically driven, refusing to consider welfare policies that are not undermining welfare state as a whole. Marine Le Pen might be the first one to officially reform her party, but make no mistake: the Front National will only rename itself to fool more people into distancing themselves from democratic and republican values.

Denial can help you win elections, but Greece show us the economical, political, and social future of democracies that stick to the self-destructive dynamics of a system based on "reformless alternation".

blogules 2012
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
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* see "2012 Presidential Elections in France - It's not the economy, stupid", and in French "Traitre à la nation", "Sarko triomphe - Blogule blanc aux reformes"
** FH 51.6%, NS 48.4% (or FH 48.5%, NS 45.6%, blank 5.8%)
*** see "GOP: time to split"

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